Lestat & Louis
     What in the world am I doing here in New Orleans?  I have no desire to be here, in fact, the idea of coming here has always been repellent to me.  So why am I walking up and down the streets of this ancient city?  

     Oh, please forgive me. To use the words of a song, “Please allow me to introduce myself.”  My name is Jamie Stephens.  I am your typical late-20th century girl.  I like cheeseburgers, pizza, rock music, books, and TV.  I love sports (especially football).  Okay, that's enough about me.  You aren't reading this to read about me. 

     Somehow, and I still haven't figured out how yet, I found myself in New Orleans.  I was supposed to meet someone here, but he backed out at the last minute.  I didn't discover this though until I had already checked into my hotel. My plane had left Dallas in the late afternoon, and I had arrived at my hotel shortly after sunset.  As soon as I checked into the hotel, I was told my friend wasn't meeting me.  I was briefly furious, but it quickly passed into something resembling relief.  

     Well, anyway, I went to my room and looked around.  The furnishings were Early American and very quaint.  The bed was a giant four-poster bed.  It looked quite comfortable, and, for a brief second, I was tempted to crawl into it.  I quickly nixed that idea; after all, it was only 7pm.  There was still plenty of night left before bedtime.  I unpacked by bags, and then went in to take a shower.  The water felt good on my skin, and I was reluctant for it to end.  I quickly put on some fresh clothes, and exited my room.  I wasn't hungry yet, so I just decided to walk and see where the city took me.  

     Looking back now, I see that it was foolish, but, like they say, it seemed like a good idea at the time.  If I just would have stayed in my room that night, I could have enjoyed my vacation in New Orleans.  I located a horse-drawn carriage that offered tours around the scenic parts of the city, so I flagged one down. As I was about to board the carriage, an old man accosted me. He reeked of whiskey, and I recoiled as he drew closer to me.  

     “Beware of vampires, Miss,” he said, “they're everywhere.  Leave this city now.”   
     I couldn't help it myself, but I laughed. Oh, not to his face, of course.  That would have been unconscionably rude.  But I was doubled over with laughter on the inside.  As calmly as I could, I asked, “Oh, and what makes you say that?” 
     He looked over his shoulder as if the Hounds of Hell were after him.  He looked at me, and it seemed that he was no longer drunk.  There was a deadly earnestness in his eye. 
     “Just do as I say, Miss.  Beware of the vampires,” he said, before walking away.  

     A chill ran through me, as if someone were walking on my grave.  His words struck a chord in me.  It was in a place deep within me that I didn't even know was there.  Instinctively I knew that I didn't want to delve into that place, so I pushed his words back to the farthest reaches of my mind.  

     With my mind occupied, I climbed onto the carriage.  I paid the driver to take me around the city.  I sat back and looked at the sights of the city.  So deeply engrossed was I that I took no notice at all of the auburn-haired boy that had taken an interest in me.  

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